Hard work recognized: Doug Pederson named AFC Coach of the Year by 101 Awards

Becomes just the 2nd Jaguars coach to earn that honor

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson watches from the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (John Raoux, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Doug Pederson’s work with the Jaguars has not gone unnoticed.

After a remarkable, worst-to-first turnaround, Pederson was named the AFC Coach of the Year by the 101 Awards on Tuesday afternoon. Pederson helped turn the Jaguars from picking No. 1 overall in each of the last two drafts to winning the AFC South and reaching the divisional round of the playoffs.

Jacksonville went 1-15 and 3-14 in 2020 and 2021, miserable seasons under Doug Marrone and Urban Meyer, respectively. The franchise was in desperate need for stability and found it in Pederson. The Jaguars went 9-8 in the regular season, beat the Chargers in the wild-card playoffs and then lost to the Chiefs last week in the second round.

A Super Bowl champ with the Eagles, Pederson helped reset the culture in Jacksonville in a hurry. His work with Trevor Lawrence helped the No. 1 overall pick in 2021 develop into the franchise player he was expected to be.

The 101 Awards have handed out top player and coaches of the year honors every season since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. The awards will be handed out at the 53rd 101 Awards Gala on Feb. 25 in Kansas City.

Pederson is the second Jaguars coach to be named the AFC Coach of the Year.

Marrone won the honor in 2017 after leading the Jaguars to the AFC championship game. Former Jaguars star Calais Campbell earned AFC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2017. The NFL Coach of the Year is a different award and voted on by members of the Associated Press. That is announced during the NFL Honors ceremony before the Super Bowl.

Pederson will certainly be in the conversation for that award, although Philadelphia’s Nick Sirianni is the betting favorite for that honor.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.